Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is joining federal, state and local government agencies and other national consumer advocacy organizations to celebrate National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 3 – 9.
For the past 15 years, a broad coalition of consumer advocates have worked together to share tips and information about privacy protection, money and debt management, and how to protect yourself against identity theft and avoid becoming a victim of consumer fraud and scams.
On Tuesday, March 5, the Montgomery County Council will present a proclamation recognizing the Office of Consumer Protection’s 40 years of outstanding consumer protection service and achievements.
Also, during National Consumer Protection Week, residents will be able to chat online with OCP Director Eric Friedman and ask questions about consumer problems on Wednesday, March 6 from noon to 2 p.m. Special guests, Councilmembers Phil Andrews and Valerie Ervin will also be on hand to answer online questions.
OCP will host a “Light Fair” open house on Thursday, March 7 from 3 to 6 p.m. for consumers and retailers to meet common ownership, consumer and business licensing experts.
“We are hosting this open house to encourage consumers and business owners to meet our staff, learn about our services and ask questions about any problems they may be facing,” said Friedman. “This event is also ideal for Montgomery County residents and businesses that need extended hours to visit our office. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity.”
At the open house, OCP will assist consumers in obtaining and reviewing a copy of their free credit report. Assistance will be available in English and Spanish. Home improvement, automotive repair, auto sales and leasing, towing, credit, common ownership and other experts will answer questions and provide literature. Staff will also be available to discuss volunteer and intern opportunities.
OCP, the County’s consumer protection agency, investigates thousands of complaints each year involving automotive sales and repairs, new home purchases, home improvements, credit issues, retail sales, internet services and most other consumer transactions. OCP provides pre-purchase information to consumers, as well as speakers to the community on consumer issues.
For more information and to check any merchant’s complaint record, call 240-777-3636 or visit OCP’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/consumer.
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